Gloucester firefighters and police officers would much rather deal with local teenagers in community activities such as a friendly basketball game than at the scene of a car crash caused by a local teen driving drunk.
That's the premise of a public service announcement that will be shown over Cape Ann TV, via Facebook, in schools, and other real and online venues beginning in May.
The Healthy Gloucester Collaborative, which pulls together the city's Health Department and its public safety departments and has been at the forefront in the local fight against underage drinking, filmed the project last week in three parts — a basketball game between local teens and a group of Gloucester policemen and firefighters; a party scene in which some youths get into a car while others refuse a ride to from a kid who has been drinking — and, finally, a scene in which rescuers have to extricate a youth from a crashed vehicle.
The project is being sponsored by Sunbanque and Gloucester firefighters union Local 762.
Acting Fire Chief Steven Aiello said he hopes the program "will hopefully make kids think twice about drunken driving, speeding, seat belt use, texting while driving, etc."
"I know others are just as hopeful as I am that we never witness another tragedy such as a teen-aged drunken driving fatality in our careers," Aiello said in a prepared statement. "... The results of our effort may save a life."